Understanding change is to know that change exists and that change is constant. There are times when everything in the Cosmos appears to be perfect alignment and one is at total peace with everyone and everything thing in the Universe. Sure it’s nice while it lasts but change it will, and the hardest thing we all face is how to deal with change when it comes.
Yoga, meditation and the wisdom of the Buddha are all well and good, but the real challenge to everyone is to be mindful of such things when things are in a state of flux.
Around the middle of last year, I was regularly attending yoga classes, getting up early to do my “morning meds” (often with my little daughter) and ploughing my way through Steve Hagen’s Buddhism: Plain and Simple. Every day at work was a breeze, I was running regularly and going to the gym with the family, kids and wife were all doing well in their own pursuits and life was just grand.
Slowly, things started to change. My work project ever so slowly started to wobble, things that were on track began to slip and as a result everyone on the team had to do a little more each day, then a lot more each day, then a huge amount more. As a result, I was called away to resolve the major issues and, as a result, my yoga classes and “morning meds” disappeared from the calendar and Steve’s book went back on the shelf.
Energy levels plummeted and the inevitable “fast food grab” and law of diminishing returns at the gym followed, until the stage that one would not simply sit next to me, one would sit amongst me.
And so it was until the end of the year, but at least the holiday period would see some respite and that it did once I had turned off and zoned out from work (although took me four days sadly).
The first two weeks of two thousand and sixteen saw the inevitably recharged me running again (shedding some well needed festive plump in the process) and getting some “morning meds” sessions in, until once again the work dukha returned, followed by both my wife and dog finding out that their major operations would take place within the seven days of each other.
So here I am on the late train home from London, fully aware that dukha is once again at my door. I have in my arsenal all of the dukha banishing tools to dispose of such grief, the key is prioritising what has to be done, delegating what does not need to be done by the self and employing such techniques to overcome a particularly rocky road that lies ahead.
I do not feel that my cart has a wheel out of kilter, I know that it has. I can see how things are. I know how things are. I know things will change and eventually they will change for the better. The previous me would not be able to recognise that fact, and only through experience, wisdom and knowledge seeking can one see things for what they really are.
As James Hetfield from Metallica once said “You rise, you fall, you’re down then you rise again, what don’t kill you make you more strong”.
How very Buddhist (whilst grammatically incorrect)…